Innovation doesn’t just happen, and it cannot be forced. It takes time, effort, and commitment to find a new path forward. Still, sometimes asking the right question can set us on that path. That is the goal of MITRE’s Open Innovation Challenge.
Every year, MITRE’s independent research and development program receives over 1000 research project ideas from across the organization and selects approximately 200 for funding. When Dr. Shelley Kirkpatrick received funding from the MITRE Innovation Program (MIP) in 2017 to research the principles of organizational agility, little did she know that three years later her work would be a big hit in Las Vegas.
Most organizations typically plan for one type of opponent (one future) even though a better approach would be preparing for multiple opponents (multiple futures), building in the much-needed resiliency. One approach that helps build this resiliency into organization is Strategic Foresight, an approach developed by Herman Kahn in the 1950s to help the US contemplate and plan for various outcomes of the Cold War including Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) using applications from game theory.
Instead of hitting the beach over the third weekend in September, more than 1,000 students from several Florida and southeast universities loaded up on caffeine, went without sleep, and were driven by a “will to do good.”
When you’re a large government organization, it can be hard to be innovative. You have a lot of moving parts and not a lot of time or resources. You can always lean on an innovation organization to help you along the way, but the question remains: “How do you know you’re really innovating?” Fortunately, Paula and Dan are on the case.
“Field of Dreams” is a delightful movie. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and curl up on a do-nothing night and watch it. But even if you haven’t seen “Field of Dreams”, I’m sure you’ve heard the most famous line from it, “if you build it, he will come.” But since language is more fluid than the ocean, and changes to suit the context du jour, you more than likely have heard it as, “if you build it, they will come.”
We’ve all been there—sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, filling out redundant forms with our healthcare history. Each time, we sit with silent frustration, wondering why we must complete the same paperwork every time we visit our healthcare provider.
We wonder: It’s 2019. Shouldn’t transmitting health information from one place to another be seamless?
MITRE staff, teleworkers, and business partners are attending more and more meetings virtually from different locations. Among the options at MITRE for communicating and sharing non-sensitive information, Slack, a cloud-based team collaboration tool, has become a meeting place where people can work productively and feel comfortable—much like a virtual coffee shop.
Sponsors turn to us for our expertise and expect us to have the answers and to make recommendations. This role of guide can be liberating. As guides, we no longer need to have all the answers. Instead we ask provocative questions to our sponsors to elicit their own answers. (Feel free to start playing the song “Let it go” in your head.) This change in role may push both us and our sponsors out of our proverbial comfort zones. Let me tell you how this has worked in real life.
Privacy engineering involves injecting legal, policy, and ethical requirements into technology. It takes perspective to effectively manage privacy risk while keeping the big picture in focus. Fortunately, Julie McEwen, MITRE’s Privacy Engineering Capability Area Lead, is on the case. She and her team provide policy and technical privacy support to MITRE’s sponsors while managing privacy operations in support of MITRE’s Chief Privacy Officer.
A woman who has always identified as Ashkenazi Jewish received a DNA testing kit from one of the ancestry services and participates on a whim. Surprise! Turns out her father was actually a non-Jewish sperm donor. It’s one of many fascinating and recent cases of renegotiating identity, along with stories about an adopted child finding their true birth family, or even individuals tracing their ancestry back to someone practicing witchcraft.
How do we balance the desire of organizations to harness big data’s power with the need to prevent potential harm to individuals or populations? For health care, MITRE developed a framework to promote the ethical use of consumer-generated lifestyle data.
Awais Sheikh is the Capability Steward for Business Innovation here at MITRE. In this episode Awais helps us decipher a fundamental question for any organization on a mission to better the world. When you get past the hype, what is the real meaning of innovation? And perhaps more importantly, how can we get past the jargon so we can make a lasting, positive impact?
Today’s environment is one of constant change and disruption. Government organizations are greatly impacted by new technologies, new laws and policies, administration changes, and customer expectations for increased services. To carry out their missions and serve customers in this type of environment, government organizations must operate in a more agile manner and better manage constraints and demands.
Jackie Morin is a Senior Software Engineer whose journey at MITRE started when she was a high school intern. Now she guides new interns as they journey from academia to industry! Enjoy a discussion on what it takes to be an intern (and employee) here at MITRE, as well as the steps MITRE is taking to pave the way for future employees. It’s an exploration of excellence at all levels.
As part of their research into veteran mental health, MITRE Veterans Council members and the Design for Life MITRE Innovation Program research team hosted a design studio dedicated to hearing directly from veterans about their transition from active duty to civilian life.
Coming from a military background, Jay learned about computer programming at a young age and developed a passion for it that introduced him to exciting emerging technologies at Carnegie Mellon, in the Air Force, in the consulting world, and, finally, in his current work at MITRE.
Andy Chapman’s recent lecture, “Advanced Manufacturing: Enabling Warfighter Innovation at the Tactical Edge,” tells the story of how his team worked with the Marine Corps to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities as part of a project to adopt Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) into Marine operations. The MITRE team’s problem-solving approach with sUAS shows that by closely examining the context of the initial goal to identify the root of the problem, it is possible to realize a more complete scope of logistical, economic, and ethical results.
In the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress established two Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA) Pathways to streamline the requirements, budget, and acquisition processes to provide technologies faster to meet emerging military needs. Rapid Prototyping focuses on using innovative technology to rapidly develop fieldable prototypes within 5 years.
Dr. Philip Barry is the Technical Director for Modeling, Simulation, Experiments, & Analysis here at MITRE. When he’s not leading simulations work, he is teaching Risk Management at George Mason. Ever focused on bringing new tools and methodologies into the classroom, Dr. Barry partnered with George Mason and Joe Garner and Ali Zaidi from MITRE’s Generation AI Nexus (Gen AI) team, to create a first-of-its-kind lesson blending risk management with artificial intelligence (AI).